A paediatrician known for his research on paranormal science and near-death experiences with children has been found guilty of waterboarding the daughter of his long-time companion by holding her head under a tap.

The jury in Georgetown, Delaware, deliberated for six hours before returning its verdict against Melvin Morse, 60. Morse was charged with three felonies - two for alleged waterboarding and one for alleged suffocation of the girl, now 12, by hand.

He was convicted of one felony -waterboarding in the bath - and five misdemeanours. Jurors reduced the second waterboarding charge to a misdemeanour and cleared Morse of the suffocation charge.

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Morse, who showed no reaction as the verdict was read, was ordered to surrender his passport and will remain on bail until his sentencing on April 11.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison but a lesser punishment is likely under state sentencing guidelines.

Each misdemeanour carries a maximum of one year in prison.